onsdag 29 februari 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: Random Café au Lait necklace


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

So, I've written before about knotting necklaces. And how there's enough tutorials found online about that. Just google it, I promise you're sure to find one to your likning.

My "random" Café au Lait necklace,
still lacking a clasp but otherwise nearly completed.
Hence, the tape and taped together strings.

What I, however, haven't written about is how long I've waited and much I've wanted to make a copy of the "Café au Lait"-necklace found in the book "Mastering the Art of Beading" by Genevieve A. Sterbenz

Well, the answer is "long enough". Really. That book is one of the best books - if not THE best book - I've read at least so far about making bead and wire jewelry. It's clearly thought through, written in such a way that it's an absolute delight to read, the photos illustrate just what they're supposed to and nothing more, and the layout (with a complete glossary about techniques, with photos, in the back).... oh my, how I adore this book.

Excerpt from the book.
How aptly the author writes it:
"bonus projects". Because you'd only
known this if you'd bothered to read
through the introduction.

If you'd buy only one beading book as a reference book, then this would be the one. I'm certainly gonna buy it, as soon as I get those extra 30 euros saved away for it... *sigh* Having a limited budget sure sucks.

Well, the project named "Café au Lait" in this book is a knotted necklace with a color scheme of soft browns & beige & golds. You can see what it looks like in the photo here under; it's the middle project on the first row. 

Excerpt from the back cover.
Middle project, first row, that's the one I'm talking about.

I wouldn't have had any beads suitable for it unless I would have gotten some as a Christmas present from Mimi. In her own word she "was very likely not to ever use them, so why not donate them" to me instead. The color scheme they have is more cold bronze/brown/beige, but it still suits the "idea" of the project, so I went for it.

After some heavy thinking and weighting of options, I used the nylon thread I bought from Blingi last Christmas (quite thick, but I have no idea about it's wpi!). It's really slippery, and won't knot well, so I actually didn't. Just used it as I would regular wire. I'm sure this decision will come back to haunt me later, but...

Finally, my bigger bead board is empty!
I was going slightly bonkers from not being able to move it,
because of all the pearls already put into the design on it.

The hardest thing about designing this whole necklace was to randomize the positions of the beads. I think too much in symmetry to get a pattern to truly look random. Which is why this was a good training exercice. Just like a computer, I find randomization hard.
And yes, as evident from the photo, my desk is filled with an odd assortment of bric-a-brac. Nothing new there... But it IS easier and faster now to clear away the non-needful things, thanks to the black drawers I got. 

There, nicely tucked away with a reminder that I have to fix
a clasp and 4 clam shell caps for it. Oh, and just to make some
"smygreklam", I wrote it on a Nordlek 2012 card for you to see :) 
So, only thing left on this project is two little things: clasp and some caps.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get those soon, so that I can get this whole thing done ASAP. Otherwise, it will be like "just the zipper and hem"-thing in the post about the Frostbite dress.

tisdag 28 februari 2012

Sore feet

After the party my folkdance-group threw last Saturday, I must have forgotten afterwards to stretch my foot muscles enough.

Which meant that come Monday, the rest of my body felt okay, but... my feet and calves were in a terrible condition. Especially after Monday's 3 hours long tango practice. Auch.

So after I'd gotten home, I took a quick shower and then spent a blissful hour sitting on our couch, thoroughly enjoying a foot-bath. You wouldn't have been able to lure me away, it was so heavenly. It didn't work out all the kinks in my feet, but it came pretty close. Sleeping the rest of the night with a heating pad filled with wheat kernels also kinda helped.

Conclusion: must remember to stretch muscles more often.

fredag 24 februari 2012

Trapped in purple


This post has nothing to do about anything important, and a lot to do with something very random occurring.

Well, tomorrow is the day when my folkdance group celebrates it's 39th year, and naturally I've been trying to decide which dress I want to wear for the occasion. So, because I had - like right now - some spare time, I decided to pick out my options from the wardrobe. The first dress I tried on is a purple satin one that I bought second hand for 4 euros this winter.

Pulled it on.
Started to pull up the zipper.
And it got stuck.
And then it broke.
And I couldn't get it off.

No movement, in either direction.

None whatsoever.

And I'm still wearing it, because even when I phoned Micke and asked him to come home and help me take the whole thing off.... it just wasn't possible.

Not without cutting out the zipper, anyway.

So now, I'm sitting and blogging in our sofa, waiting for tango practice to come up. In the violet dress.

So apparently, this Friday's tango practice is party-time

Craft Friday: Reused porcelain necklace


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

There is something to be said about the dichotomy that is porcelain and pottery.

One one hand it is burned in very hot ovens, used to store everything from food to chemicals in, and  it can withstand the tooth of time for hundreds of years. A thousand even.

But on the other hand...

Shards from one of Emmis' nice,
if broken, green plates.

...it breaks into a hundred (or a thousand) pieces if it accidentally falls on the floor.

Which, needless to say, is what happened to a few of Emmis' plates a few weeks ago, as well as to one of mine last Tuesday. Left were a mess of shards, and I managed to scavenged a few before the rest were thrown out with the trash. I know there's lots of things that you can do with pieces of porcelain, beautiful mosaics e.g., but when these accidents occurred I wasn't interested in spending time/money on any big project.

This even though I tend to be somewhat of an epic crafter...

What I thought of, instead, was more like "what if you combine the shards with a coating/setting made out of polymer clay". Emmis seemed to be interested in the idea at least. Well, since I promised her a pendant made out out of one of the shards from her plates I don't think she was all that against the idea in the first place.

Emmis' and the shards.
And they were such nice plates, too.

My shards. Oh, this is one of the plates that I got as a present for me
getting my Finnish Matriculation Examination back in year 2001.
The shard I'm holding in my hand is the one I saved.

Nope, no photos of a done project... yet. I've been too busy with making Mimi's dress, which very quickly ate up every available surface in our living room. As well as every available space in my head, it seems.

Oh, but if you want to read about such projects, I recommend reading the posts on Alex's Creating Trouble blog. Oh, and go check out the amazing porcelain dress! It's amazing what an internet search can bring you...

torsdag 23 februari 2012

The eighth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

Everyone has their preferences. Such is life, and without people preferring something over something else all our lives would be a whole lot grayer.

When it comes to sweet things like candy, sodas and the like, I have to confess myself to be racist.

A candy and soda racist.

Again, this is something that was funny when me and a couple of friends thought it up back in high school. How I wouldn't eat candy like licorice or salt licorice and not drink sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Because I was a candy and soda racist.

Originally, it was "karkki- och limurasist".

The definition kinda stuck, but writing it down now, here, I must confess I think it looks absolutely terrible. Horrible, even.

The word itself, this loaded word... racist. I would not want it associated with the person that is me. Because even if it is a very human trait to try and joke about something grave, in order to mentally cope with something, there is not much positive associated with that word.

racism   |ˈrāˌsizəm |
• the belief that all members of each race
possess characteristics or abilities
specific to that race, esp. so as
to distinguish it as inferior or
 superior to another race or races.

prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism
directed against someone of a different
race based on such a belief 
: a program to combat racism.

"The belief that all members....".
Seeing that written down, looking at it through a biochemists' point of view, I must say I do concur. 

The more the people of Earth will interbreed and mix up genetically, the better for all of us, but until such a day comes, the more a population indigenous to a certain area will have "characteristics or abilities specific" to that region. Black/brown/blond hair be damned, this is about things deeper than such phenotypes. Some people are more prone to certain types of cancers, some to immunologic diseases, some to heart diseases.

We're all humans, but it is still our heritage that defines half of what we are (in accordance with the other half being how we're raised). Some might be better at some things, but we still have only less of 1 % difference between one another.

But I think I'm gonna stop referring to myself as a karkkirasist.

onsdag 22 februari 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: update on the green dress


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
 where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Finally, after a total of 3 days of sewing, I and Mimi managed to finish off her green "Northern Lights"-dress.

This was when I had "just" the zipper and the hem on the skirt left to do.
No photo truly does the satin's color any justice.

I must remember, if/when I make a dress after this one, that:
  • It's infinitely easier to create a dress for someone else, since you can always try it in the person straight away and do corrections. Trying to sew something for yourself in this way is insane.
  • Always buy the bigger spool of thread. Or two of them straight away if you're unsure.
  • The more carefully you measure and pin everything, the less time and frustration you will have to spend ripping up seams and sew anew. Especially the zipper. Oh my Goddess, the zipper...

Thank you, both Mimi and Ida for your ideas, all the help and the company while I sewed! You're the greatest. But you already knew that.

Mimi, sewing the pockets while I took a small
break. My bum was falling asleep from so much
sitting. You can see my reflection in their kitchen window.

fredag 17 februari 2012

Craft Friday: Upcycling and hobby jewelry


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

Depending on what you do with things after they've... well, become "junk", you can either

recycle or repurpose or repair or reuse or upcycle them

A lot of things can be reused (think: clothes) or repurposed, and some things (like compost, paper, glass and metal) can and should definitively be recycled if you have no need of them anymore. If something is broken so that it can be repaired and continued to be used, then by goddess do it!
But truly upcycling stuff... now that's a challenge fit for any hobby jewelry maker.

Most upcycling is really just repair and maintenance. Things like broken locks and clasps can be exchanged for functioning ones, frayed strings and knots in necklaces can be cut off and the thing re-strung with new cord/string, and most things can be cleaned and buffed up until they gleam again.

On step further is the people who create new jewelry from old (that they've either found/bought cheaply/inherited), and people who look at something and suddenly gets ideas about how it could be used to create (sometimes really really quirky) jewelry.

On a side note, the term findings in jewelry is coined
from these found objects to be used for new jewelry.
Most people buy pre-made findings, and some create their own.
It's all according to your own taste and skill, I guess.

But, back to upcycling. And jewelry.

I think the most common "crafty" upcycled thing in jewelry, at least this season, seems to be common bottle caps. Basically, all you have to do is get enough bottle caps for you project and then "fill" them or use them however you like. If "filled", it's done most often with a waterbased glue/varnish that, when dry, is able to keep various small parts adhered to the "bottom" of the cap. Photos, glitter, beads, you name it.
Take a look at what I mean. And after scrolling down a little there, then you can go and look at this. I think I like the Coca-Cola necklace one best, but the Sprite earrings are also kinda okay.

Another thing is, again, paper beads. But I'm not gonna write about that, since I already did.

Then, there's things like candy wrappers, small plastic kid toys like Barbie parts (is it just me that find some of those to be quite creepy?) and their accessories and even more Barbie....

The list of upcycled jewelry made from plastic can be made looooong. Mainly since plastic is considered a "cheap material that can't really be reused after it's been used even once".

But back then to "quirky". Before I become even more into "ecodesign".
I'm going to share with you some upcycled jewelry that I like that keeps true to the spirit of upcycling.

Michelle's bread tag robots.
Michelle's upcycled jewelry blog is full of quirky things like this.

Amy Phaffman's colored pencil jewelry.
Not that I haven't seen "pencil jewelry" before,
but she had real good photos on her page of
the ones she's made.

And just my type of tea... um, bracelet!
Abigail Maryrose Clark's "Teacup Bracelets".

So, good people, trying to find new media with which to expand your jewelry designs can be really creative. As long as you have enough weird materials on hand, that is.

Oh, and remember:

This is also Michelle's, and she made it for
Earth Day of 2011.

Happy upcycling to you :)

torsdag 16 februari 2012

The seventh thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

I like to cross-kitchen.

It's the term you use for cooked food that doesn't fit specifically into any style  of cuisine, e.g. Italian, Thai, Vegan, Raw, French etc. Simply put, you pair up food that taste and go well together, but aren't that traditional to begin with.

Like ice cream with beer flavor. Or banana chips bits on pizza. Something that might sound really odd, but then taste real good when you try it out. Like California rolls.

I used to love mixing Italian and Thai, but now that my food allergies don't allow for that I must say that I pretty much do what I can (stomach wise) get away with. But, only from-scratch-things. Never from processed food. And I'm already cheating when I use concentrated tomato purée.

Oh, don't worry, I do 'traditional" home-cooking too, but as a foodie (apparently there's even a name for an amateur kitchen goddess like moi) I like to try out different things. See what works.

And what doesn't. Like Battery-cheese cannelloni's with chicken.
Fanta might have been okay though... or then not.

Maybe one day I'll try out molecular gastronomy (oh, I really AM tempted), but not now. Gotta save some arts and skills for later in life, too. Life can't be made boring.

onsdag 15 februari 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: Frostbite tango dress


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
 where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

The 2nd Frostbite Tango Festival is going to be held in Helsinki on the 23-26.2 this year. Workshops, milongas and tangueros all weekend long. They're even going to have a flash mob tango event somewhere in the centre of Helsinki. And oh, the Grand milonga and the Northern Light milonga are sure to be totally splendid.

And I'm not going.

Instead, I'm going to be truly boring and dance folkdance the very same weekend. My folkdance group is celebrating its 39 years, and I'm gonna take part of that instead.

It's really only a question of money. I don't have the money for three wonderful days of tango.

Maybe next year.

But, again I digressed. Because my good friend Mimi is going. And she needs a dress for the Northern Lights milonga. The theme is... well.... northern light. Bright, colorful, shifting, aurora borealis.

Yesterday, we went shopping for discount fabrics, and found this perfect green lightweight satin that we'll make into a dress for her. It was the first time I've ever been to the outlet store Jätti-Rätti, and I must say I'm really glad we went! The satin we bought cost 5 €/m, which is way way less than e.g. at Eurokangas (Where it's about 29-35 €/m...). She spent a total of 41 € on everything, and we even have extra fabric if some small part gets trashed in the process

*keeping my fingers crossed for that NOT to happen*

On Thursday, were going to start sewing, so I've already pre-washed and ironed the fabrics for that. We're gonna use the same pattern I've used for my own vintage dress, the one from V&A, but mainly  for the skirt part. The rest we'll have to come up with on our own, because dancing is gonna place some special restrictions on the dress.

It can't chafe, for one. And not be too short, too long, too tight, to loose, too.... Well, not too anything apparently.

Goddess help us. Will post photos of progress of said dress later.

tisdag 14 februari 2012

My 29th birthday

Last week-end I had my birthday. I'm now officially 29 years old.

Mmmm, birthday cake. 

In-officially, I've eaten birthday cake(s) since last Thursday. Both "real" cake, and cupcakes. Oh me gosh, I've even eaten "try-out cupcakes" with Emmis since last-last Thursday!

It feels a bit like my calorie intake had a 1000 % increase. Sugar is dangerous, man. Especially in the form och innocent cake. I've felt slightly hyper all the time, and my head has been screaming for more! the entire time. 


Please, no more cake for a while, okay? We can do it again when it's Micke's birthday, and thank the Goddess it's some odd months until then.

Perhaps I'd better show you some photos of the sugary creations, mmm? As well as some other ones, while I'm at it. I swear, you feel sugar-high from just looking at a few of them.

Pre-birthday cupcakes at Emmis.
Extra lemon in the cupcakes and then lots
of carrot-cake frosting on top.
Yes, they are light green and yellow.
Yes, it was a bad color choice.
And yes, you got sated by just eating one.

More cupcakes at Emmis.
And tea.
I'm depleting her tea stash,
one visit at a time.

A birthday without presents to remember it by
would be kind of sad. Except if you've specifically
asked for "no presents! bring something edible!".
None the less, I gave my friend Kaisa violet paper
earrings for her 30th birthday, and she gave me a
global warming cup.
The coastlines disappear when you put hot beverage in it.
Geeky like you would imagine.

Birthday week's Monday was spent at
Blingi, Turku's only beadstore that actually
has a REAL store and not just a web shop.
Yes, working!
Best Monday since like EVER, in my opinion.
There are times when you're amazed by how
much you actually know, especially when
people ask you if you questions you CAN answer.

Then, on the night before my birthday,
my orchid finally opened its flower buds.
It made me wait two months for it.
Naturally, now it's showing off like a real diva.

I got lots of flowers this year. Micke even gave me a rose; the second flower he's ever given me. But unlike the last one, this one sadly perished more quickly. I think it as because of the temperature shock it got between the florist's shop and our living room.

Mom sent some money for me to buy tulips,
and when Ette  came over her mom had
sent a 'birthday angel'.
Best thing about Ette coming over to visit was that I got to try out Rory's Story Cubes. Such a simple, yet totally brilliant game! Please, go to the page, and read how you're supposed to play. You can even get it as an app for the iPhone. I do know I have to get it!

The other brilliant thing was getting to watch five episodes of "2 Broke Girls", eating cupcakes like crazy. 

These cupcakes, to be exact.
Choco-mocha and "secret" cupcakes, like
the ones Emmis baked while I visited her.
Secret cupcakes have bits of a candybar in it - we used knock-off Mars, Snickers and Twix for those. They were good. But the strawberry on top was the best part.

Ida made me a Mojito birthday cake.
As a present, even though I specified
"no present, just edibles". Nice combo :P
Seriously, she used half a bottle of clear
rum to moisten it. It was awesome,
and it made you slightly tipsy too.
Good thing the rest of the party was
booze-free. Otherwise, we would have
giggled ourselves to death. 
Which we nearly did anyway. What can I say: we had lots to giggle about.

Cake, pie, cupcakes, small sausages on sticks....
Add soda water and blackcurrant-juice to this and
you could have been there yourself.

With this combination, I think I just had the best birthday-week of my life. I want to thank everyone of my friends who made this all possible.

Thank you all so much!

fredag 10 februari 2012

Craft Friday: Paper and hobby jewelry


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

As a book lover (oui, a real bibliophile, c'est moi) I love the whole thing about paper. Especially printed paper. Just like there's some people who love certain types of food/colors/sports or the like, you can love certain types of papers.

I love certain types of paper.

Not too thin, not too thick, not smelling of anything else than just the paper and the ink (because some pocket books smell like turpentine and cheap ink, yuck!), with a nice sort of porous surface that your fingers can just dance over as you turn the pages.... oh sorry, I didn't realize I was creeping you out!  Moving on! 

It all brings me to this:

Rest in pieces, you poor printed book.
Know that you have served me well.

If it's of any consolation, the book (bought second hand) was put to rest as humanely as possible. It's book jacket furs are currently found in the possession of Linn, (if she still have them?), and everything else has slowly been used up in various scrapbook and papercraft techniques.

Paper beads. That's what this is about. And slightly also about decoupage.

As I wrote last Wednesday, I've made some paper beads using different papers. I've tried glossy magazine paper and the printed kind of papers you see in the photo. And I've made a list of things I still need to finish this "paper jewelry project" I'm working on. (Yes Tove, I have a list :) There's no end to them...)

Since making paper beads isn't actually that hard to do, I googled around and read some blogs about what people actually do with paper when they create jewelry. So far, the things I've read can be summarized into this:

1. beads made out of paper (what I wrote about on Wednesday)
2. beads and decorations made out of papier maché
3. beads coated in paper, with the decoupage technique

Now, before Christmas I happened across the web page of Kelly Alexandra. And I must say, I want to try out how to make decoupage on beads the way she gets them to look. Because they look amazing. These images are all from the gallery on her web page:

Kelley Alexandra; Hand-decoupage paisley
beads with African domino trading beads. 

Kelley Alexandra; Ebony and Chinese
newsprint decoupage beads.

Kelley Alexandra; Pewter and Chinese
newsprint decoupage beads.

I'm gonna try it out first with really thin paper (I have some rice paper with strawberry prints that I bought just for this) and then progress to thicker paper (like the pages of the book above) depending on the results. The problem will be to try and keep the decoupaged beads from having air bubbles and collecting dust as they dry. The base will have to be these wooden beads I've got, beads that I have no intention of using as they are. 

Until I do, there won't be any photos, so there'll be another post about them once I've tried it all out.

torsdag 9 februari 2012

The sixth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

I always imagine that things take less time to do than what they really do.

There, now that it's official, written down and everything, are you happy now Micke?

You know about the whole "never ask for anything, because you will most certainly get it"? Well, I asked the love of my life to tell me some truth he thought about myself, this was one of them.

I'm not so sure that it's procrastination, so much as naive optimism, but I must admit that it's a correct statement non the less.

I really DO think that I can make more in the time I have available.
I actually DO think it's possible (well not scientifically, but maybe more mentally...) to do everything. At. The. Same. Time.

Maybe this can also be on reason behind the Giant Creative Mess that I nearly always have going on. No wonder that my desk/our house is always in such a mess. We're living in Limbo. Or possibly in Pandemonium, and right now I'm not that sure about the difference between those two.

Ah, what the heck, let's just say we're heading up towards Warp 10 and I just don't seem to get that our Enterprise is falling down around us. Nerdy enough for you?

Better a creative mess
than idle tidiness.
-Michel J. Fox.

onsdag 8 februari 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: Recycled paper beads


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Reading through what information can be found online regarding beads made of paper, I think it must have come into fashion when the intrinsic value of paper got lowered. Which must have been when there was so much paper available that even 'poorer' people were able to own and buy books and pamphlets. Or didn't think it a 'waste' to reuse/upcycle them.

If the whole thing make you itch for a tutorial or the like you can take a peek at Paper University's page (but I'd forgo using straws in that tutorial if I were you), or even better, read through this summary of tutorials in Pearl's post about it at her page "the Beading Gem's Journal". It's a treat, I promise.

There is even some charity work program in Uganda done with making paper beads. It's called Bead for Life, and I've seen their sales persons and products at different crafts fairs for two years now. I hope it's going well for them.

And before I digress even further: those that want their jewelry to really ooze color, making these types of beads using glossy magazine's and printed ads is definitely the way to go. I tried out both 'traditional' printed-book-paper and glossy-magazine-paper. Funny really, I got a magazine that met that description from Mimi shortly before Christmas, otherwise I wouldn't have had any 'research material' for that at hand at all! I would have been forced to maybe even... go... and... buy... me... one.

Svensk damtidning, anyone?

*hurr hurr*

But, basically it's as easy as: paper + scissors + glue + some clear varnish to coat the beads in.

Paper beads made from a glossy magazine ad,
and varnished after the glue had dried.

I was originally thinking of using these beads (in the photo) I made for an earring project, but I ran out of ear clips so I have to rethink it a bit. Also, the hole left by the toothpicks I used to roll them on is so large that I might even have to consider using bead caps. But this is a later problem.

tisdag 7 februari 2012

The people have googled, and found my blog via...


.... photos of Ikea 365+ teacup. I think mine look rather dashing at 5th position. This is because of my post about t-t-tea.

... photos of IKEA Tolsby frame. Here, I found a photo from the post were I did some IKEA-hacking of the Tolsby frame into a earring display. It was on the 6th google-page.

Now I'm beginning to wonder. Should I feel proud here, or become thoughtful? Because the other search words on the blogger statistics page (you can check your own via your own blogger-page) just doesn't make any sense.

At least not to me. And Goddess knows what google thinks makes sense here on my blog?

Have you looked through your statistics page yet? Or is it just good for laughs, in your opinion?

måndag 6 februari 2012

Monday morning dragon hair

Well, this certainly is a truth about me, but it's not such a huge one I thought I could get away with it on the Thursday post.

I have dragon hair.

Dragon hair is when you have normal hair that's secretly dreaming that it's a DRAGON!

This is exactly like I picture what the artist Edward Monkton (uuh, check out the Madness Hamsters and Pinguin of Death) means in this card that he's drawn:

Edward Monkton's "Hair".

So, pretty much every morning, I wake up to this:

Proud dragon parted in the middle.
Dragon hissing with raised hackles.
Dragon after calm flight.
Dragon on the side.
Tired and squirmy dragon.

Yes, that's 100% morning me.

In the last photo I could barely keep my eyes open and mouth shut (yaaaaawn!) long enough for the phone to take the photo.

Dragon hiding in plain sight.
There's always the last photo that makes you surprised. Thank you Ida for lending me your straightening iron!

Now, my dragon DARES your dragon to show itself!

söndag 5 februari 2012

Concerning my jeans quilt project

Yes, I got asked about the how I got the idea to make the jeans quilt in the first place.

Okay, silly as it is, the story is as follows:

the Story of the Quilt Idea

My brother (Harald) has a cat.
He's allergic to cats, but that's besides the point.

The name of that cat is Camca,
and I have never met him,
but his name is supposed to be a Russian word.
Even though my brother have no idea how to spell it,
it's supposed to mean "meat pie".

Anyway, little meat pie Camca was served 
(by one of Harald's room mates) some milk.
Cats are lactose intolerant.
At least, they are after they've been weaned.

So anyway... Camca had an "accident" in Harald's bed.
Apparently, it was a HUGE accident.
And very smelly.
He had to throw away the coverlet.
(Apparently, the stink just didn't wash off...)

But, all was well in the end, because he got to borrow
the above mentioned room mate's extra coverlet.

And now to the moral (?) of the story:

Said coverlet is made out of old jeans. No idea as to pattern or so, or if it's a quilt, but hearing all this, I thought "That's such a brilliant idea - I wanna make one too!".

And that was it :)

lördag 4 februari 2012

the Helmiplaneetta and Leimailutaivas 2012 fair


The hand out and this year's paper entry bracelet.

The "Helmiplaneetta ja Leimailutaivas"-fair is a small fair arranged by a few craft shops that deal in beads and scrapbook supplies. Held in Masala, which is about 8 km from where my parents live, it's one of the perfect excuses for a beader to head homehome for a visit.

Last year, me and Emma went to this fair for the first time. We had no idea what to expect, and since Emma's back was really bugging her back then, we just went to see what all the fuss was all about...

... and then Emma sat, waited patiently and crocheted while I wanted to look at everything at least twice, and waited/crocheted some more while I asked people about this technique and this type of jewelry finding...

I got a lot out of it. Truly, I did.
Emma got at nearly three crocheted apple circles out of it, so she had a good time too.
And we had a great discussion with some nice ladies from Lahti (150 km from Masala...) who also had a marvelous time at the fair. We even got to help them, a bit, since one of them asked from which buyer I had bought that and this?


Now, this year, since we already knew what we were getting into, we took (again :P ) some lunch with us and browsed around.

That took four hours.


Four hours.

And we had a great time. Made even better by the fact that Emma's back held strong until the very end. Oh, and I used up way too much money. But that "what I bought at the fair "-post will have to wait.

Emma at the car, outside the Aktia-hall.

People shopping.

More of the Aktia-hall.

Sinelli actually had stamps carved out of wood!
They were hysterically beautiful, for sure.

A new store!
Helmiprinsessa is actually going to open on the 13th of February,
so this was really really new. We got an invite to the opening :)

At Villakeiju, you could try your hands
at scrapbooking a 'dress up card'.

Thank me for that, and boy were we hungry.
Picnicfood was a real treat after seeing half the fair.

Food tasted so good, and then we continued with our looking.

Oh, and a completely new technique for me!
Making encaustic art, using beeswax and heat.
Looked relly cool (I mean, hot :P ) and the cards
that Minttu here made were real professional.

Paper beads, at Design Mim.
They had a lot of other things there too,
but they happened to be the only store selling paper
beads at this fair, so I just had to show you that.

And last, but not least, the lottery.

Yes, the lottery. Going by the number on your paper bracelet, they draw two lucky winners of a 20 € gift card; one for a scrapbook shop and one for a beadshop. We didn't win, but that was okay. Because we had already had a great time anyway :)

fredag 3 februari 2012

Craft Friday: Polymer clay millefiori beads


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post 
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique 
or project I'm currently working on.

After I had had the courage last autumn to take an arts and craft course at Turun Työväenopisto, I got emboldened to enroll in a second one this spring. The first course was about "sculpting different types of jewelry from assorted clays and doughs", and I originally enrolled because I wanted to try out working with polymer clay and see if it would have been as awful as I thought it to be. Like I wrote about it back then:

"Because I wrote on my "Non-faves of 2011"-list that cernit-clay sculpting is a non-fave of mine. This way, I get to try out different types of clay/polymer modelling, and get to use more borrowed tools while I do it. Plus, I don't have to grime up my desk. Always a plus.If it's one thing I don't like. It's. Getting. Grime. And. Needles. Under. My. Nails."

I still sooooo concur on that last bit. But it's actually not as bad as I originally thought it would be.

This second course is specifically about using polymer clay with the millefiori-techniques adapted for polymer clay from glass work.

Anyway, after last Craft Friday post (about necklaces), I started thinking about beads in general. And then if I should present any of the work I've done on this second course so far. We have two lessons more to go, and hopefully that will be enough time to finish all the pieces I've been working on.
You only got two packages of Cernit-clay from the teacher on the first lesson (those packages were included in the price for the course) and since then I've nearly used up everything to make the millefiori-canes for coating my wooden beads...

Well, we'll see if I'll manage to come up with a project to use the finished pieces in.

Anyway, here's some photos of the "how to coat wooden beads in millefiori". Inspirational source for this was this page on Instructable, but I found that if your wooden beads just happens to already be varnished, then the pieces cut from the clay cane will stick to it without any help from liquid clay. Made a huge difference for me.

Starting to make the first millefiori cane...

Putting all the parts (or worms, hah!) together.
Then it's just rolling, rolling, rolling...

...until it's really thin, and then all it takes is cooling the cane
and starting to cut put parts from it.

And then you roll it around really gently, so the pattern
is preserved as much as possible and the "empty"
areas between the cut pieces are filled up nicely.

The work itself wasn't that hard to do, but the funny thing here is mentioning that my hands actually started aching after doing all the heavy duty rolling (rolling rolling...). Imagine that: muscle soreness from conditioning polymer clay!


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